FCS faces challenges amidst rising hard drug traffic

July 7, 2024 12:50 pm

Fiji Corrections Service Commissioner Dr Jalesi Nakarawa during his visit in the Central Division. [Source: Fiji Corrections Service/Facebook]

The Fiji Correction Service is grappling with significant challenges due to the escalating traffic in hard drugs.

Corrections Commissioner, Dr Jalesi Nakarawa says this increase in drug trafficking and use has far-reaching consequences, impacting not only public health and safety but also the operations within the correctional facilities.

Dr Nakarawa says they are struggling to contain the use and smuggling of drugs with the correctional facilities.

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He adds that the remand centers, in particular, pose significant challenges due to their high turnover population.

Dr Nakarawa states that inmates under the influence of hard drugs often exhibit aggressive and confrontational behavior, creating a volatile environment for both staff and other inmates.

He says that despite stringent security measures, they continue to confiscate drugs from various drop-off points around the facilities, including attempts to smuggle drugs by throwing them over the walls.

The increasing use of needles for drug injection is a primary contributor to the spike in HIV cases.

This, Dr Nakarawa says is coupled with the deterioration of mental faculties among drug users, presenting substantial challenges for FCS.

However, he stresses that they are committed to addressing these issues through rigorous measures and heightened vigilance, but need the support of the entire community.

He is calling on parents, educators, and community leaders to join them in this fight.

Dr Nakarawa is urging the government and health organizations to strengthen support for rehabilitation programs and provide resources for those affected by drug addiction.